Update: “I stand with the House of Reps on this” – Godwin Emefiele

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele, has said to the House of Representatives on Tuesday, January 31st, that the old Naira notes would still be collected from depositors by commercial banks even after the stipulated deadline being February 10th.

Mr. Emefiele stated this before the Ad hoc committee set up by the House of Reps concerning the CBN Naira redesign policy. He also made it clear that he doesn’t know long the banks would continue to dispense the old notes.

Speaker of the House, Femi Gbajabiamila, had on Thursday accused the CBN governor of contradicting Section 20 of the CBN Act which, according to him, obliges commercial banks to collect old notes even after the deadline.

He said, “After the expiration date, such naira notes changed will no longer be legal tender but it also says that even five months, three months, or two months after, even in June, all the old notes presented to the bank shall be redeemed by the bank.”

Mr. Emefiele told the committee that he concurred to what has been said regarding the Section 20 of the Act. He emphasized it, saying:

“Section 20 says even after the old currency has lost its legal tender status that we are mandated to collect that money. And I stand with the House of Reps on this.”

He also added, “If you have your money that you have not been able to send to the bank. We will certainly give you the opportunity to bring them back into the CBN to redeem it. Either you pay it to your bank account or you want to do an exchange — we give you. You will not lose your money. This is the assurance I give to Nigerians.”

The chairman reportedly accepted the CBN governor’s apology for not responding to their previous summons.

He added that the policy, which should have been enacted several years ago, is an opportunity to make the economy more cashless. According to him, Nigerians would soon realize the benefits of the policy.

Alhassan Ado-Doguwa, chairman of the Ad-hoc committee called for an executive closed-door session with the committee members after the hour-long hearing.

The Majority Leader and members then went present their report to the chamber where the plenary was in progress.

The report of the committee was laid, considered and adopted by the House.